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Rio Tinto receives green light from EPA for West Angelas expansion at Pilbara

Mining News - Published on Wed, 15 May 2019

Image Source: Corporate Watch
Mining Global reported that Rio Tinto has received approval from the Environmental Protection Agency for its plans to expand operations at its West Angelas iron ore mine in Pilbara, Western Australia. The EPA has recommended the mine for environmental approval subject to conditions including the protection of national park water resources and threatened ghost bats. Rio Tinto propose to to expand open-cut mining at the West Angelas mine site, 130km north-west of Newman, by 4,100 hectares to 26,700 ha.

The West Angelas expansion is part of Rio Tinto’s Robe River joint venture with Mitsui and Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal to produce the premium Pilbara Blend iron ore and Robe Valley lump and fines in the coming years. Rio Tinto plans to begin construction this year ahead of a forecasted production start in 2021.

Rio Tinto Iron Ore chief executive Chris Salisbury commented: “The additional Robe Valley deposits will enable us to continue to provide a highly valued product to our long-term customers across Asia.”

As a result of roundtable discussions with proponent Robe River Mining Co Pty Ltd and the EPA – regarding the impact to Karijini National Park of pumping up to 14 gigalitres annually (GL/a) of groundwater for the proposal – the EPA has recommended a condition for Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) to maintain groundwater levels.

To further protect the national park from up to 12 GL/a of proposed surplus water discharge into Turee Creek East, and minimise the impact on riparian vegetation, the EPA recommended conditions including rigorous monitoring under an environmental management plan (EMP).

Source :

Posted By : Rabi Wangkhem on Wed, 15 May 2019
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